Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Right Things Versus the Best Things - Learning to Fully Love

A definition of love I often give the teens is "doing what is right and best for others." Lately there have been a lot of things happening personally and in others' lives that have caused me to really stop and think about that definition. The definition isn't wrong, but the way we approach it can be.

The fact is, we do a lot of right things for those we love. As a father I work and provide the necessities of life. I make sure my kids have a roof, they are fed, have clothes and receive a good education. Even though these are a lot of right things they may not be the best thing. I realized this on the hike I took with God a couple of weeks ago. During our hike it was revealed that I do a lot of right things but the best thing I can be doing for my family and kids is helping them grow in their relationship with Christ.

It isn't that we don't want to love others to the fullest. I believe that the desire is there. I want to love my wife and children to the fullest. The problem is, it is very easy to concentrate on the right things more then the best thing. It could be a case of not knowing what the best thing is. It could be that it is far easier to do the right things because often the best thing is the hardest. I also believe that there are times where we have good intentions of doing the best thing but the right things consume most of the time.

I'm not a very organized person and I am constantly learning how to be better organized. I don't succeed very well. Something I have learned though is that concentrating on all the minor good things I should be doing often leads me to failing because I have not concentrated on the most important and best thing. I believe this is the same with love.

There are people out there who all of a sudden come to a crisis in their marriage. It comes as quite a surprise for many because they always thought they were doing right things. They never suspected that neglecting the best thing would have prevented the crisis in their marriage.

My challenge to all of us is to really look at our relationships: our relationships with our wives, our children, our family, friends, co-workers, church family, etc... and ask the important question "Am I doing the best thing for these people?" I'm not going to say finding the answer is easy. It actually might take some time and a lot of prayer to discover what the best thing is, and even then, when we do find the best thing it may be something that will require a lot of time and effort. In fact, it may seem that it will require too much time and effort. I am certainly glad that Jesus didn't say this when he faced the cross. Jesus knew that the best thing for us would not only take time and effort but eventually his life.

Let us do what is best for the people we love no matter what it may cost us. In the end, it is well worth it. Jesus did it and so should we. Continue to do what is right but definitely do what is best.

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